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Bonfire Night & Firework safety reminder

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is urging everyone to stay safe as they celebrate Bonfire Night (Thursday 5 November).

The Service's Community Risk department says they are keen for everyone in the community to take bonfire night and firework safety messages on board. They stress how important it is to follow the right safety procedures and to remember that fireworks can be dangerous if misused. They also want to highlight how much safer it is to go along to an organised bonfire and firework display rather than holding a celebration at home.

Station Commander Alan Haley from HWFRS said: "We are encouraging people to go along to an organised event with their families and friends as this is by far the safest option. A list of organised events can be found on our Service website. We do however, recognise that many people will be holding their own bonfire parties and get-togethers, and we want to remind them of some simple firework and bonfire safety tips to help avoid injury or any damage to their property."

Firework safety tips:

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.
  • Only buy fireworks marked with British Standard Kitemark BS 7114 and buy them only from a reputable supplier.
  • Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
  • Always follow the instructions carefully when using them. Read them in daylight or by torchlight, never by a naked flame.
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  • Never go back to fireworks once they are lit. Even if it hasn't gone off, it could still explode.
  • Never throw fireworks and don't put them in your pocket.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks and never give sparklers to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put them in a bucket of water after use.
  • Respect your neighbours – don't let off fireworks late at night.
  • Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening with the curtains closed.

Bonfire safety tips:

  • Consider going to an organised bonfire event as the safest option.
  • Never use flammable liquids to help start a bonfire and never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries.
  • Build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches.
  • Keep bonfires to a manageable size and evenly built so that they collapse inwards as they burn.
  • Always check the bonfire's construction is still sound prior to lighting it, that there are no children or animals inside and that hazardous items such as aerosols and fireworks have not been thrown onto it.
  • Bonfires should be lit after the firework display unless positioned sufficiently far away to ensure stray sparks from the bonfire cannot fall into the firework area.
  • Don't leave bonfires unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with water.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of emergency.
  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

Issued by:
Emma Roberts
Senior Community Risk Administrator
01905 368238